PARASHAH: Ekev (as a result)
DEUT: 7:12-11:25…………ISAIAH 49:14-51:3…………JOHN 7:1-8:59
“Now, O Israel, what does Adonai your Elohim ask of you? Only to fear Adonai your Elohim, walk in His Ways, Love Him, and serve Him, with all of your heart and all of your soul” (10:12)
I am jumping the gun a little bit, but just “how much do you love God?” that is the question. We might say, “with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength!” Really? Seriously? Well, if you do, then you should be… or asking yourself the following;
Following his commandments with all seriousness, and there are a lot more than just 10. (yet we know that not all 613 are for today). “His Ways” are “His Commandments” That is the reason behind Bible study. Making the Sabbath and Sundays the most important days of the week to get with God’s people and study, not making any other plans, being in church, or the synagogue all day (if possible, but I doubt it). Not closing your wallet to give to the poor and needy.
Do you speak positive words in one breath, and negative words in the other.? Remember, can a tree produce both good and bad fruit? No, not a biological tree, but a human tree can! And we do it every day, blessings and curses from the same mouth. Are you following God’s chosen diet for you in Leviticus 11? It is for your own good health and welfare.
Are you saying “The Torah commandments are in the past, we don’t need to follow them anymore” then why don’t you go out and steal? Or take someone’s wife? Those commandments are in the Torah! The Torah/Law was not crucified on the Cross of Calvary, our sins WERE! The curse of sin and death WAS because Yeshua bore it ALL.
Would you risk your life for another life? Even for a street bum? Are material things very important in your life? Or too important? Would you risk losing them? Would you give them up to follow the Master? Do you let anger loose in your life? Or do you have in check?
Do you look forward to studying HIS word, even if it is not on the Sabbath or Sundays? If yes, then there should be hundreds, or perhaps thousands reading this Parasha now on these forum sites, not just 30 or 40!
There are many that say “I love God with all my heart” but the fruits don’t jive with the words. I am speaking to myself as well. It is just something to think about the next time you say; “I love God with all my heart” Now let’s get started with this Midrash entitled “Ekev”
Moshe starts out reminding and giving “Am Israel” assurance that “because ye harken unto these ordinances and keep them, and do them…YHVH shall keep with thee the covenant…. He starts out on a positive note; however, we know that history reveals that Israel did NOT keep the covenant, but broke the covenant, and went after strange gods, idolatry, etc. Perhaps this was an incentive to obey, and they would reap the blessings of obedience…IF…they would obey.
Many parts of this Parashah are a repetition of the words; “if” and “then”. We are talking about a conditional covenant. ALL covenants are conditional. The word “life” itself contains the word “if” right in the middle. We can sum up “life” as many “conditional experiences” depending on how we react to them; “if” we react in one way, “then” the result will follow, either negative or positive. Even the covenant of salvation which is for ALL mankind is “conditional” “If” we repent and accept Yeshua as our Redeemer and LORD, “then” we will receive the gift of salvation which follows. Salvation is a gift for all mankind, yet we must receive it through a repentant and contrite heart, a willingness to turn “Shoov” and follow the Master. Our master is like our father who loves his children very much.
The father promises his son that if the son would obey the rules of the house, do his homework on time, help take out the garbage, clean the bathroom, help mom with the dishes…THEN…the father would take the son camping during the summer. It is all about “rewards” for “obedience”
Is this any different for us? I would say not. Rewards for obedience has nothing to do with our salvation experience. Our salvation is based on FAITH and FAITH ONLY, and not on our obedience to mitzvoth, yet obedience to the Torah comes as a result of our relationship with Yeshua HaMashiach. Even he said; “If you love me, obey my commandments. Yes, he gave some new ones unlike those written down by Moshe, who received them from G-d on Mt. Sinai. Yet even back then, Yeshua was with the Father during the giving of the Ten Commandments, and later, the rest of the 603 that were given during the 40-day period of being with God on Har Sinai. So, did Yeshua give us ALL the mitzvoth? I would have to say YES.
More than once Moshe reminds the people to “follow and obey” the commandments, to “Hear” (Shema) the word “Shema” is related to “Shamar” which is to “guard”. So, to “Shema” the commandments of Adonai, is to “remember, observe, put into action, and guard, not only “hear and listen to”. We must always remember that obedience to the commandments of Adonai, the ones that can be observed literally today, has nothing to do with our salvation experience. We are saved, secure, forever, by the blood of Yeshua, by his once-only sacrifice. Obedience to the Torah commandments comes as a “result of” our family relationship with Adonai, as obedient children, we will “want to” do as our father tells us to do, for our own good, to be a Holy, set-apart people.
An interesting verse is 8:1 “All the COMMANDMENT which I command thee this day shall yet observe to do, the ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land….” in the Hebrew it is “Kol ha Mitzvah” it is written in the singular and not in the plural! But shouldn’t it be “mitzvoth” (commandments)? One would think so, but it IS in the SINGULAR, but why? The sages’ comment that all the commandments can be summed up into ONE commandment; “Love YHVH thy God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might, and strength” and when we do love Adonai in this way, we will follow all the rest of the commandments, including loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Chap 9:4…. Moshe reminds the people that it isn’t because they are a “righteous” nation that God is allowing Am Israel to move into the land Canaan, conquer the pagan inhabitants and take possession, rather it is because of those nations’ “unrighteousness” and “wickedness” that is the reason. Just like the time of the flood, the wicked world was destroyed and Noach and his family were saved, yet Noach had his problems too, his righteousness had flaws too, just like ALL of us. Our holiness is full of “holes”, and our salvation is because our God is a merciful God and he just chose to love us, just because HE is a LOVING and MERCIFUL GOD, and not that we deserve salvation. We can also state that the land of Canaan was being given to the Israelites because of the promise that YHVH made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob too. YHVH never breaks his promises.
Chap 11, Moshe gives an order; “Therefore, thou shall love YHVH thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his ordinances and his commandments ALWAYS! Moshe cannot say this enough, like a father tells his children, “obey the rules, obey the rules, obey the rules” it is for their own good. Unfortunately, the admonition of obedience for many people goes in one ear and out the other.
We can also see in various occasions that Moshe intercedes before “Am Yisrael” before Adonai. He reminds them of their sin with the golden calf, and how Adonai wanted to destroy Israel, and even Aaron, for permitting the people to do such a thing. Yet Moshe convinces Adonai to give Israel and Aaron another chance…and then another…and then…Could we go on? Does not that describe all of us? Moshe here is a type of Mashiach who intercedes for his people, as Yeshua intercedes on our behalf before the Father.
We all continue to have a rebellious heart, many times walking in the flesh, disobeying His Mitzvoth, yet we have life, we are not struck down, He forgives our trespasses through Yeshua, whose blood paid for all of our sins, past, present, and future. We just have to have discipline and learn to walk in His commandments, trusting Him as Messiah and LORD. Trusting in HIM seals the covenant personally, walking in HIS commandments is a result of the first.
Let us go forth with a renewed heart, and show our love to God, by learning and obeying his Torah, of course we cannot be Torah observant 100%, but through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, we can be obedient sons and daughters of Adonai El Elyon, and live a lifestyle that honors HIM.
Israel cries out “The LORD hath forsaken me and forgotten me” but the prophet through the Holy Spirit assures the people, NO, the LORD has NOT forsaken you. There is a big difference between, “abandonment, forgetfulness, and chastisement”. The fact that YHVH has punished his people does not mean that He has abandoned Israel. When a father chastises his son or daughter, does that mean he no longer loves him or her? Does he cast them out of the house? Or say, “you are no longer my son or daughter?” No, of course not, Scripture tells us that a father who loves his children will discipline them.
We can say the same with YHVH and “Am Israel” He loves his people, and so, HE will discipline them. Yes, he cast them out of the land, but in goyim lands, they continued to live and spread the teaching of the ONE GOD (Echad) who is Adonai-Elohim-Yeshuah. We are loved by our heavenly father, even when it hurts.
Some are a bit confused when Yeshua says to his brothers, “You guys go up to Yerushalayim to Sukkot, I will not YET go up. He did NOT LIE, (as some critics try to say). He was planning to go up, but not at that time. Remember that the celebration of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is a 7-day celebration, culminating on the 8th day, “Hoshanah Raba” it is possible that his brothers and his talmidim went during the beginning of the festivities, and Yeshua waited until the end, the 8th day.
It was on the 8th day that the priests brought up water from the pool of Siloam, and Yeshua took this opportunity to say to the people; “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drink, whoever puts his trust in me, as the scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being”
We can remember the time when “B’nei Israel” (the children of Israel) were in the desert, and they got water from a ROCK. The ROCK symbolizes Yeshua, who is the ROCK of ages and the LIVING water. Water flowed from the rock so that the Israelites and the cattle could drink as much as they wanted.
The water that Yeshua talks about is our inner life through a renewed spirit, remember that He also told the woman of Samaria the same thing. It was to her that he revealed himself as Mashiach openly. So, when we read the WORD of God, listen to music that praises HIM, we are receiving “living water”
Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Ben Avraham